Here Are The Honda Odyssey Years To Avoid

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White Honda Odyssey

Honda Odyssey by Tokumeigakarinoaoshima — CC BY-SA 4.0

The Honda Odyssey is not the car brand’s most famous model. The minivan isn’t the most stylish and only appeals to a specific demographic. Still, because it comes from the makers at Honda, it’s captured a lot of attention over the years though not all of them perform like other Honda models.

Below, we’ll look at the Honda Odyssey years to avoid and the top issues throughout the years. Use this guide to know which Honda Odyssey years to avoid and which ones are cleared for purchase if you’re buying a pre-owned one. 

Honda Odyssey Years to Avoid

Please don’t think we’re picking on the brand here, but we try to look out for you. If you’re on the lookout for an Odyssey and come by any of the following years, you might want to keep looking.


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The 1995 Honda Odyssey

One of the key downfalls of the Odysseys of 1995 was transmission failure. Once the car hit 100,000 miles, the transmission started to fail and ultimately gave out, resulting in a total repair. Among other issues found this year were ignition failure, with some stopping right in the middle of driving. 

The 2001 Honda Odyssey

As the years pass, carmakers generally smooth out the kinks and introduce a new and improved products. However, the 2001 models had similar issues to those back in 1995. The transmission would typically give out around 126,000 miles, and the dashboard warning lights wouldn’t even give a warning. 


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The 2002 Honda Odyssey

Again, a new year means all new opportunities to fix mistakes. Well, not quite. The 2002 model happens to be one of the worst Honda Odyssey models, with the most reported incidents in the model’s history. The primary issue (again) was the transmission, which started giving drivers problems around 109,000 miles. 

The 2003 Honda Odyssey 

2003 wasn’t much better and even saw a drop in average miles before transmission issues struck. In addition to transmission issues, there were also backlight failures and even piston rings that gave drivers all sorts of trouble. 

The Great Honda Odyssey Recall

When looking at the Honda Odyssey years to avoid, one thing you want to check for is the presence of recalls. Back in 2019, Honda issued a major recall of many of its Honda Odyssey models, including those between 2001 and 2007.  

The Best Honda Odyssey Years

Though there are Honda Odyssey years to avoid, there are also years that buyers should keep their eyes peeled for. Not every model was terrible; just a few stood out due to a large number of issues.


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The 2017 Honda Odyssey

The 2017 Honda Odyssey was one of the first years that all issues seemed to fade away. On top of that, they had a great life expectancy, whereas most Odysseys lasted well over 250,000 miles before any problems. As you saw above, that’s a fantastic improvement, as most barely made it over 100,000 without needing total transmission replacement.

This year has a record for lasting long for the model, but it also has no recalls and has a high safety rating. Everything seems to have been perfect, from the anti-lock disk brakes to the rearview camera, not giving drivers any issues. 

Another solid improvement was the gas mileage, which shot up to 28 on the highway. With regular maintenance, the Odysseys of this year can make it up to 300,000 miles, not causing any significant issues for drivers. 

The 2018 Honda Odyssey and Up

While most models get better with time, that wasn’t the case here. Honda tackled the transmission issue, resulting in longer-lasting cars. Still, models from 2018 and up were recalled if they had more than 250,000 miles. The main reason was due to a wire in the third row, as it could spark and cause a fire in the back seat. 


We’ve done some research to uncover which Honda Odyssey year is most reliable, so you’ll have all the information necessary to make a solid car purchasing decision.

The Newest Honda Odysseys

Since the 2017 model was considered the best, Honda has taken a few steps back and brought some of those things they used in the past forward. After tweaking the transmission and taking care of the wiring issue in the third row, the 2021 and 2022 models are making a major comeback. So far, there have not been any major issues reported, and these still have all of the same great specs as the 2017 Honda Odyssey. 

Now, for those looking for a reliable car that will last, the Honda Odyssey is on the map, especially if it’s from 2017. The price is excellent for the room you get, plus the look is new and improved from the inside out. Drivers now have something to brag about while enjoying the true durability that Honda is known for.


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Common Honda Odyssey Problems

In general, the Honda Odyssey enjoys above-average reliability ratings across all model years. RepairPal gave the Odyssey a reliability score of 3.5 out of 5.0, ranking 3rd out of eight minivans. However, the Odyssey does have some common issues:

  • Braking issues - Many Odyssey owners complained about their vehicle’s faulty brake pedal. Many reports stated that the brakes only work after pumping, which is a huge safety issue.
  • Transmission issues - In 2019, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Honda for the Odyssey’s issues with its 9-speed automatic transmission. They experienced rough shifting and acceleration, sudden power loss, etc.
  • Interior problems - Owners of the 2016 Odyssey, have complained about the minivan’s interior comfort, or lack thereof. They claimed that the seats are hard and uncomfortable, and the headrests can’t be adjusted, resulting in neck pain during prolonged drives.
  • Windows and sliding door issues - Model years 2004-2010 and 2015 were reportedly plagued with defective window and sliding doors. Frustrated owners claimed they couldn’t fully close the windows, which exposed the interior to the harsh outside elements. The sliding doors were also problematic, as occupants found it hard to operate them due to sticking door seals.

The Honda Odyssey: Yay or Nay

For the Honda Odyssey, there are a few years to avoid, especially if they have a lot of miles on them. Just like with any other model, some are better than others. If you have any doubts when hunting for the perfect Honda Odyssey for you, give us a shout here at CoPilot.

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